THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- If you think you can safely exercise without your mask in a gym during the pandemic, two new government reports show you are mistaken.

Coronavirus outbreaks at fitness centers in Chicago and Honolulu last summer were likely the result of exercisers and instructors not wearing masks, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered.

In the Chicago study, 60% of people who attended in-person fitness classes at one facility between Aug. 24 and Sept. 1, 2020, tested positive for COVID-19, while another 7% reported symptoms consistent with the disease. Although some infection prevention measures were in place, such as temperature checks and symptom screenings upon entry, exercisers were allowed to remove their masks while they sweated and strained.

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